“If you build it, they will come” might be true of cornfields and dead baseball legends, but it certainly doesn't apply to business. You can't just open your doors (or launch your website) and wait for customers to line up. The competition is just too stiff.
If you want new business, you're going to have to earn it by standing out from the crowd.
3 Ways to Make an Impression and Attract New Customers
1. Change It Up
When you've been in business for a while, you eventually develop a particular image. This is a good thing—it means you have brand recognition. But if you get stuck in the same-old same-old, it might become harder to attract new customers after a while.
Changing your tried-and-true formula doesn't always work (two words: New Coke), but innovation always does. Don't try to pretend you haven't tried one of Dunkin’ Donuts' seasonal flavors. Who could possibly resist a Mint Oreo donut for St. Paddy's Day, pumpkin spice autumn yumminess, or a heart-shaped donut filled with glorious cookie dough around Valentine's Day? Offer up something new, exciting and irresistible to tempt people who have never looked at your business twice...and drag old customers you haven't heard from in a while back into the fold.
2. Mail Out Free Stuff
One thing will never change: people love to get free swag in the mail. You'd invest in promotional items for a convention or show, so why not send something out to homes or businesses in your area code (if you're a local business) or to your social circle (if you're an online business)? Recently, Dang Foods included a bag of toasted coconut chips covered in dark chocolate in a Klout Perks box...and let's just say that was a really good idea. Dang Foods earned a new customer and a lot of free social media publicity for one little bag of snacks.
3. Host or Participate in a Charity Event
Getting involved in a local charity can be a great way to meet new people in the community and make a fantastic first impression. Some ideas might include handing out branded items like full, reusable water bottles at a charity walk or golf towels at a charity golf tourney. Think: things people will really use. Tacky plastic keychains are so 1980s and when was the last time you saw a calendar in use?
By handing out branded swag potential customers really want, you do more than put your logo in their hands. You demonstrate that you speak their language, appreciate their story and, most importantly: understand their needs.
The key is to match the focus of the organization with your business. If you sell sportswear, hook up with your local Pop Warner or Little League. Hand out free t-shirts, offer a discount on one item everybody needs (like cleats), or offer a smaller across-the-board discount on all items at the start of the season.
Not in retail? Partner with an organization like Project Management Institute (PMI). They're always looking for speakers to make presentations at their meetings and you can take the opportunity to hand out something business people want, like a branded flash drive or an expensive-looking pen.
Once you've earned the attention of a new customer, follow through on the sale and keep building the relationship. That's what Growth Cycle Marketing is all about!
Always remember you're not looking for a one night stand. Long-term relationships are far more satisfying in the long run. One of the best ways to attract new customers is to treat the old ones so well that they tell everybody about it. After the faceless corporate depersonalization of 90s customer service, customers want contact with real people.
If you're using our Growth Cycle Marketing techniques, you've got customer service in the bag. You're following up on new leads, keeping in touch after the sale and beyond and staying on top of social media. Great customer service is the best secret weapon your company can have...and it never goes out of style.
For more information about keeping your customers on the hook before, during and even after the sale, download our FREE Growth Cycle Marketing white paper.